Early in the 2013 legislative session for North Carolina, our legislators decided not to expand Medicaid as allowed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In declining to accept this expansion, which would have been totally paid for with federal funds for three years, they have declined health insurance for 500,000 North Carolinians. There is nothing good for North Carolinians about this legislation to deny health care to a half-million of our citizens, and it is contrary to our teachings as Christians to take care of “the least” in our community.
Nicole Dozier, Assistant Project Director of the Health Access Coalition and Senior Litigation Paralegal at NC Justice Center, notes that “the Bible tells us to be openhanded, not tightfisted, and not to take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, and it admonishes that the person who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but that the person who is kind to them, honors God.”
Nicole goes on to note that “the good news is that God is a God of second chances. On this group’s behalf, I am entreating the lawmakers who are blessed with the option of premium-free health coverage but who rejected federal money and blocked my brothers and sisters from having the same, to change their minds and their votes and to use the gift of the Affordable Care Act to expand Medicaid.” And she further adds that she “wants to sincerely thank the lawmakers who through their testimonies, their actions, and their votes, were upstanders for the 500,000 uninsured working adults who deserve access to care resulting in better outcomes and a stronger North Carolina and who deserve to move forward with the rest of us who will be benefiting from the Affordable Care Act.“
I add my plea to Nicole’s for our lawmakers to reconsider their decline of Medicaid expansion and to accept our wonderful God’s forgiveness when we repent and do what is right. May God have mercy on our decisions.
–Sandy Irving, Volunteer Program Associate